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Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents Paperback – March 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 66 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

 
"Raising Happiness is an elegant, funny, and rigorous handbook for the humbling task of raising joyful children. Brimming with brilliantly distilled science, poignant stories from her family, and what parents so urgently seek—clear, practical, and informed guidance—it is an encyclopedia of wisdom for raising children in today's multitasking, multimedia world. Christine Carter offers thoughtful approaches to raising more grateful, playful, mindful children and she provides practical tips for how to handle the conflicts of siblings, the challenges of the new media, and countering the pressures of perfectionism and materialism. In reading this engaging book, you are very likely to find yourself a bit happier as well." —Dacher Keltner, author Born To Be Good: The Science of A Meaningful Life, Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley

"This is THE parenting book. This is the one to read over and over. So much wisdom and empathy, all based in real science. My children owe Christine Carter big time."—Kelly Corrigan, author, The Middle Place 


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Christine Carter, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, an interdisciplinary research center that “translates” the study of happiness, compassion, and altruism for the public. A regular on ABC’s View from the Bay talk show, Carter has been profiled in a San Francisco Chronicle Magazine cover story and quoted in dozens of national online and print publications including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, American Baby, and Parenting. The mother of two young girls, she lives near San Francisco.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345515625
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345515629
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A sociologist and happiness expert at UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, Christine Carter, Ph.D., is the author of The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Groove at Work and Home (January 2015) and Raising Happiness (2011).

A sought-after keynote speaker, Dr. Carter also writes an award-winning blog, which is frequently syndicated on the HuffingtonPost, PsychologyToday.com, PositivelyPositive.com, Medium.com, and several other websites.

Dr. Carter has been quoted or featured in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post, the Boston Globe, as well as Good Housekeeping, Parenting, Martha Stewart's Whole Living, Fitness, Redbook, and dozens of other publications. She has appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," the "Dr. Oz Show", the "TODAY" show, the "Rachael Ray Show," "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," "CBS Sunday Morning," "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer", PBS, as well as NPR and BBC Radio.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Thanks to Christine Carter for giving us parents an actual step by step approach to engendering happiness in our childrens' and our own lives. I've enjoyed her blog at Half Full for sometime, but this is an excellent synopsis of her work.
If you read nothing but Step 3 "Praising Effort and Enjoyment" your childrens' lives will be forever changed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To lump this book in with the myriad other books on parenting would be doing both the book and the reader a disservice. Raising Happiness goes beyond 'parenting' - it's truly a book on how to create a happiness lifestyle, and in turn raise happy kids. I enjoy Dr. Carter's anecdotes, but also appreciate that all her happiness advice is rooted in scientific study; both social and medical. This is the book that I will not only reread (and enjoy each time) but will keep on my bedside table and refer to time and time again when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and potentially down. Thank you for this book, for your insights, and for the happiness guidance. I have been implementing suggestion after suggestion, and to my delight, my children are flourishing and I'm a happier mom because of it! I will be recommending this to friends, giving this book for baby showers, and sharing the insights with my husband. And reading it again. And then probably again. And perhaps one more time for good luck!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was not a parenting book. This was a self-care book. There was almost no information on how to be a good parent. Yes, I know that she’s saying that taking more care of yourself will help you to be a happier parent, but then she should have called her book, “How Parents Can Take Better Care of Themselves.” When my kid is kicking in the midst of a temper tantrum, nothing in this book will be of any help. Any tips she did have were overly basic and vague. For example, when she talked about sibling fights, she wrote “Calm you kids down.” Really? Did she think that we needed a book to tell us to calm our kids down in the middle of a fight? Also, her book mainly consisted of examples of how she did things wrong, with comments about why not to do it that way, but without a follow up with examples on what to do. Although she sometimes said what to do, she rarely gave any information on how to do it. Plus, she was so self-deprecating throughout the book that it actually was a distraction. She should know that if you’re going to write a book, you don’t have to spend half of it negating your knowledge on the topic in order to feign humility. Drop the “I don’t know anything” act. Instead, be confident. If you don’t believe in yourself, your readers won’t believe you either.

You do not need to buy this book, because here is the summary of her very basic points:
1) Go out with your friends and to yoga class more
2) Get along with your co-parent
3) Be grateful
4) Forgive others
5) Be optimistic
6) Don’t threaten or bribe
7) Teach your kids to regulate their emotions (though she gives few examples on how to do so)
8) Be mindful

Her final points are: day care is bad, TV is bad, play is good, and eat dinner with your kids. Overall, this self-care book was most unhelpful for parents who are looking for solid techniques on how to interact more calmly and positively with their children.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent source of tips and techniques you can begin to implement TODAY that will change the overall feeling in your house immediately. Christine carter has translated literally hundreds of social science articles into practical steps you can take to help your child grow, learn, and feel happy and fulfilled. Need to get out the door on school mornings? She has a plan. Want your child to be happy with what they have rather than asking you to buy something else? She has strategies. This book helps everyone in the family be more attentive to what we already have, the joy of our relationships, and ways we can help each other. Not just a "parenting" book. It is a family-building book. You will benefit as much as your children.
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Format: Hardcover
The front flap promises much, such as how to avoid raising a brat, changing good habits into bad ones, the right and wrong way to praise your children, how to turn their attitude into gratitude, how to avoid the pitfalls of perfectionism, and how teach them to be more self-motivated. But how many of these things do I predict I'll be able to change with my two recently inherited-through-marriage kids (10 and 11)? Not many. The most effective ones will be the ones I can institute myself: Eating Dinner Together; praising them properly. But as the author says on the final page, "finding even one thing here that works for your family . . . can increase your children's happiness, and yours as well."

Overall, I feel disappointed by the book because it promised so much. Part of that, I think, is that the author covers so much, she has little space to devote to HOW to achieve something. For a while as I read I was flipping back and forth to the "Notes" in the back of the book. Nearly every sentence or two the author writes is sourced to some study. This sounds good in theory, but what happens is that she can't do justice to any one idea in depth. So I'm going through the book and nothing is sticking in my brain and then when I come to the chapter that talks about Learned Optimism I think I realize why. I read Learned Optimism a long time ago and it had a big impact on me. Because the author covers so much in her book, though, she has little time to devote to any particular topic, and so does a poor job of describing Learned Optimism. Perhaps the reason nothing seemed to be "sticking" in my brain for the earlier chapters is that she is condensing them too much too. Another area with the same problem was her section on mindfulness.
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